ABC Pulls ‘Neighborhood’ Reality Series

Lynn Elber, AP, June 29

LOS ANGELES—“Welcome to the Neighborhood,” an ABC reality series that pushes hot buttons of racism and anti-homosexuality, was pulled by the network before its debut.

The program had drawn criticism from groups claiming it risked fostering prejudice.

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The six-episode show, which was to debut July 10, follows three families in Austin, Texas, who are given the chance to choose a new neighbor for a house on their street.

Each family initially wants someone similar to them—white and conservative.

Instead, they must choose from families that are black, Hispanic and Asian; two gay white men who’ve adopted a black child; a couple covered in tattoos and piercings; a couple who met at the woman’s initiation as a witch; and a poor white family.

In the early episodes, one man makes a crack about the number of children piling out of the Hispanic family’s car and displays of affection between the gay men provoke disgust.

The series’ producers had said it was intended to promote a healthy and open debate about prejudice and people’s fear of differences.

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